Campus sexual assault should not be tolerated

What kind of society do we live in when women are not allowed to walk home without being in fear?

I was walking home from a library after a few intense hours of paper-writing. Around midnight, I decided to take a well-lit street home. As I walked past a dorm, a young man yelled at me, threatening to anally rape me. I didn’t dare flinch nor look in his direction. A few seconds later, another man demanded me to answer. I spent the next few blocks walking fast, my heart racing, looking over my shoulder.

This story is not rare, nor an exception to the rule. It is ludicrous that it continues.

We must no longer tolerate this kind of behavior. It is a direct violation of the University’s policy on sexual harassment; perpetrators must be held accountable to provide the safe environment promised to students on campus. What is the state of our campus community when students feel so confident to publicly commit such acts of sexual assault? It is essential that this not be tolerated on any level. Individually, it could be as simple as telling people you know about your experiences, rather than silencing them. Speak out against this.

We must come together and address the issue of sexual harassment, assault and violence as a community and commit to taking measures to end it. We should develop and promote education efforts that can be taken seriously by all students.

We must start respecting each other. Only from a profound lack of respect for fellow community members can one verbally threaten strangers on the street, and we must meet this disrespect with a steadfast will to overcome it.

This is not acceptable; our campus should not condone its continuance, and we should cultivate respect for one another.

Ari Sahagun

Senior in LAS